subdee asked: Sometimes it seems to me like sasaeng fans NEED to exist, to make what the regular fans do (in a controlled way, with the blessings of the promotion machine) seem normal.
It’s definitely all relative, and I’m assuming your definition of “regular fan” includes both people who occasionally watch fancams on YouTube and people who send idols lunch boxes. So yes, for everyone in this range, sasaengs are people we can point to in order to establish where the line is between “normal” and “crazy”.
Because of course, the range of activities that fall under the umbrella of the “regular fan” is huge. Things like airport photos and waiting for idols in hotel lobbies hit that awkward place for me where I’m not sure if, as a fellow fan, I can endorse this behaviour, even though they’re common practice and the fans who do this are generally respectful (with some personal space violation horror stories here and there). I guess that’s more subjective than objective, though, based on one’s personal qualms, and sasaengs are the only fans where most people can agree that there is a line that has been crossed.
I agree that sometimes they seem inevitable, like there always needs to be some percentage of followers of any belief system (fandom being a belief system, in a way) that practices the extreme.